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Why new marketers need to buy into strategic market planning

When I started picking up college internships that gave me the opportunity to write, I did just that. I used my role to communicate all that I could about different educational issues.

But I wasn’t thinking about my audience the way I needed to. I wasn’t developing marketing strategies and plans or thinking about the next 3 actions people would take when they finished reading what I had to say.

Being Strategic author and businesswoman Erika Andersen thinks strategy gets a bad reputation. Here are a few of her 5 reasons:

  • People don’t know what it means.

  • It sounds stuffy and intellectual.

  • People don’t get the point of it.

Free-form writing is not a technique for marketers. Our job is to convert our audience, so we need to communicate with an end game in mind.

Here’s why new marketers have to buy into strategic market planning.

Your audience might get lost...

No matter how eye-catching your email or flyer looks, it won’t serve its full purpose if your prospective buyer doesn’t know what to do next.

If you market education technology solutions, your messaging must target learner and educator needs...and be compelling enough to get them to buy. You can’t create successful, targeted messaging on a whim.

By crafting a strategic plan you can effectively:

  1. remind your audience what their needs are,

  2. inspire them to take action,

  3. and provide a clear path for them to take action.

...and you want your efforts to make an impact

However you communicate with your audience, do it clearly. If someone sees your messaging and feels confused or unmotivated to take further action, your time and efforts have largely been wasted.

The reason your audience is having trouble engaging could be that you’re falling into the same trap I did during my college internships: creating content for YOU instead of THEM.

Examples of strategic plans to make your audience do something with what you're sharing:

  1. Conducting market research → To solidify that the problem you’re solving exists and is important to your buyers.

  2. Creating a sales toolkit → To equip your sales team with info and tangible resources to communicate to the best of their ability with buyers.

  3. Designing a nurture campaign → To lead prospective buyers through the funnel by reinforcing their needs and connecting them with product specialists.

Finding success is possible if you can retrace your steps

Not every strategy carried out will be a hit. What’s important is that you’re able to refer back to your plans, call out what went wrong in your process, and pivot to create something new—with your adjusted strategic marketing plan in mind.

Be data-driven. Retrace your steps and learn what works and what doesn’t in order to call out what marketing success and failure look like.

Creating measurable outcomes won't only boost your productivity but prove you're an asset as a team member. Trackable data shows stakeholders how you’ve contributed to revenue goals, leads, and/or other targets.

Closing the lid on strategic market planning

Strategy is one of the most hated, overused, and misused words in business. It’s also one of the most important ways to define and track progress toward goals.

Like any skill, strategic thinking becomes less confusing and scary when you face it head-on. Educate yourself on what it means to be strategic in your role and make sure this type of planning exists at the root of your projects!

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